Why You Need to Explore Lviv’s Nightlife

Lviv is a city known as the Little Paris of Ukraine. Its old town is a UNESCO world heritage site. Only a 1-hour 5-minute flight from its capital Kyiv or a 6-hour train journey.

The Poles built churches in Lviv before the Soviets took over. After world war II a lot of Poles migrated back to Poland. It wasn’t until the collapse of the USSR during the early nineties that Lviv became an administrative centre of an independent Ukraine.

Today, the rich vivacious city boasts to an amazing European style architecture, different from the capital city. With a few Lada cars scattered here and there on its immaculate streets. Similarly, colours, architecture and cars definitely make you feel like you’ve time travelled back to the Soviet era. Old-school coca-cola adverts in wooden and coffee huts scattered amongst the streets.

Lada ,explore Lviv

The city isn’t a common destination to the average tourist of Ukraine. Whilst some opt to visit the Orthodox churches and cathedrals of Kyiv most miss skip this underrated destination.

I spent three days in this grand metropolis just before I visited Chernobyl. Staying in the most grandest Airbnb ever. Unfortunately, it’s not available for listing anymore. However, just like this, there are plenty of more elegant and cheap ones available on their site.

Airbnb Lviv
(The Airbnb I stayed in)

In my opinion, the most special part to explore Lviv is its magnificent restaurants and bars. Let’s start with the bars. It has an epic speakeasy bar.

What is a Speakeasy?

A speakeasy is a secret hidden bar. Its name derives from the forbidden drinking places in the probation era of the United States. However, we are now in the 21st century and the purpose of those bars have transformed to new means. They are just more or less secretive hidden bars.

Now back to Lviv, this city has one named Kryyivka.

Kryyivka

An underground bunker located in Market Square. It’s best you use google maps to navigate to this place! As when you arrive you come to a wooden door. Give it a stern knock and no one will answer. You must knock hard and shout the secret password.


Secret password= Slava Ukrayini!


This means glory to Ukraine.

If you say it correctly, the door will be opened by a watchman holding a shotgun dressed in an old army uniform. He will interrogate you. Asking if there are any communists in the group. If you answer correctly he will make you swig a shot of honey vodka.

Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

Then he will lead you down the stairs to a secret military style underground bunker. The walls are made out of stone and the furniture is wooden. War propaganda plastered all over and traditional music plays.

Kryyivka serves delicious Ukrainian food from perogies to meat broth. It definitely feels like you’re transported back in time to the World War.

Мазох-Cafe

Now! This is a bar to remember. I got so drunk in this place I ended up missing my flight to Kyiv the very next day! Even though it serves food. It’s not an appropriate place to bring children. Definitely an 18+ venue!

Why is it not appropriate?

Handcuffs Lviv
Inside the bar.

This bar is dedicated to the founder of masochism, Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch. Masochism is a fetish where the pain is inflicted on another person. The person inflicting pain gets pleasure from it. It’s located in Market Square and very easy to spot as the entrance holds a statue dedicated to the founder.

I explored in the evening entering the red dimly lit bar. It felt like I was back in Amsterdam. Looking around me I saw wooden stools with imprints of genitalia.

Lviv

Looking around me I saw wooden stools with imprints of genitalia.

Then slowly, I walked and climbed downstairs to its dungeon. A small bunker with wooden tables and handcuffs hanging off the ceiling.

Dungeon Lviv

Just as I was about to sit down I feel a sting on my backside, a waiter had whipped me with a leather leash!

Even the toilet door had peepholes in it!

That whole night waiters and waitresses came by giving masochistic punishments to their guests! I noticed people would come here for a laugh and witnessed couples visiting for pleasure! I won’t go into details as you will have to see for yourself.

Meat and Justice

Just on the outskirts of Lviv’s oldtown is a medieval style restaurant, meat and justice. As you walk in you smell the smoke before noticing on your right the open kitchen hosting staff barbecuing many types of meat. Be warned this is not a place for vegetarians or vegans!

Once inside, you are sat down to a lengthy heavy wooden table with benches. Providing those medieval vibes. Looking up there are weapons and ancient torture replicas hung up all around the room.

There is a live actor dressed up who demonstrates the torture weapons. Be careful though, he may recruit you to be locked in the torture chamber displayed in front of the whole restaurant!

Baczewski Restaurant

Restaurant Lviv
Image captured by myself.

This restaurant is my favourite dining spot in Lviv! Baczewski is dedicated to the Baczewski family. They launched the worlds first vodka brand in 1782. Originally a distillery in Lviv.

I loved it so much much I visited it twice whilst I was there. It serves a range of Ukranian, Polish and Eastern European food. As well as a fine selection of wines. I didn’t attend on an evening however I went for midday. As I entered, I was lead to the greenhouse section of the restaurant.

Brunch Lviv
Brunch at Baczewski

As I entered a pianist was playing. Then I slowly tuned my ears and heard canaries. As well as so many beautiful vines decorating the restaurant! Definitely a place for the gram. You can sample over 50 vodka’s in this restaurant!

This restaurant also has other rooms where you can dine, however, I only dined at the greenhouse. When visiting don’t just visit the greenhouse take the option to explore the rest!

As a whole, Lviv is a destination you should take note of. It’s exquisite, lavish and a cheap weekend break. When you arrive it feels like you’ve stepped into the past. Seeing the old Russian lada’s, beautifully coloured buildings and the Slavic style coffee huts. There’s so much to explore such as its history, peculiar nightlife and impressive dining spots. So, have I sold it to you yet? What are you waiting for, explore Lviv book that ticket.

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